The Edge of the Night: A Confession
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: The Edge of the Night: A Confession
Verlag: Random House
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
Über diesen Titel
The literary critic recounts his Italian-American childhood in upstate New York, his attempts to come to grips with the beauty and power of literature, and his struggles with his middle-aged manhood.From Kirkus Reviews:
Once called ``the Dirty Harry of contemporary literary theory,'' Lentricchia (Duke) proves something of a postmodern wimp in this annoying, enervating memoir of his life as a critic (successful) and family man (failure). Clearly, the current sort of criticism practiced in the academy is no preparation for writing to a wider audience, as Lentricchia attempts here. And he makes the transition as bumpy as possible--indulging in stream-of-conscious blather, confusing fragmentary bits, and callow political invective. At his worst (or maybe his best), Lentricchia sounds like a Don DeLillo character, full of abstract musings on the age, but he doesn't seem to grasp DeLillo's ironies. In fact, Lentricchia takes himself very seriously. Part of his memoir records his stays in a South Carolina monastery, where he reaffirms his belief (in art, not God) and broods on his shortcomings as a husband and father. Proud of his Italian-American heritage, Lentricchia sees his life as a balance of the aesthetic and ascetic impulses. His career as a critic derives from his early love of language but, at the same time, he grooves on ``mafia talk'' and the extremism he finds crucial to his ``ethnic'' life. There's lots of highly personal literary criticism here--the sections on T.S. Eliot are fine, though Lentricchia's slangy stuff on Kafka seems like more posing in a book full of such antics. A few trips to Ireland occasion thoughts on Yeats and Joyce but also callow asides on the ``Troubles.'' The most expendable parts here are the running commentaries on the book's composition, and by the time Lentricchia declares his ``desire not to have a self to reflect upon,'' you wish he would follow his instinct. Instead, he retreats into his many ``selves,'' a tactic in keeping with his trendy theoretical notions. For all its goofy self-absorption, Lentricchia's guilt-ridden lament stumbles onto some topics worthy of further discussion. Next time, think clarity and focus. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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